This book offers a novel account of the relationship of experience to knowledge. The account builds on the intuitive idea that our ordinary perceptual judgments are not autonomous, that an interdependence obtains between our view of the world and our perceptual judgments. Anil Gupta shows in this important study that this interdependence is the key to a satisfactory account of experience. He uses tools from logic and the philosophy of language to argue that his account of experience makes available an (...) attractive and feasible empiricism. (shrink)
This book aims to offer an account of conscious experience and of concepts that help us understand empirical reasoning and empirical dialectic. The account offered possesses, it is claimed, two virtues. First, it provides great theoretical freedom. It allows the theoretician freedom to radically reconceive the world. The theoretician may, for example, begin with the conception that colors are genuine qualities of physical bodies and may, in light of empirical findings, shift to the conception that colors are not genuine qualities (...) at all. Second, the account grants empirical reason a great power to constrain: empirical reason can force a particular conception of the self and the world on the rational inquirer. These seemingly contrary virtues are reconciled through a novel treatment of presentation and appearances in the account offered of conscious experience and a novel treatment of ostensive definitions in the account offered of concepts. The argument of the book is buttressed by a critical study of the principal approaches to experience and reason found in the philosophical literature.--. (shrink)
We argue that distinct conditionals—conditionals that are governed by different logics—are needed to formalize the rules of Truth Introduction and Truth Elimination. We show that revision theory, when enriched with the new conditionals, yields an attractive theory of truth. We go on to compare this theory with one recently proposed by Hartry Field.
This volume reprints eight of Anil Gupta's essays, some with additional material. The essays bring a refreshing new perspective to central issues in philosophical logic, philosophy of language, and epistemology.
I discuss in this paper a criticism of modal logic due to Donald Davidson and John Wallace. They have claimed that, to quote Wallace, “modal predicate calculus does not provide a reasonable standpoint from which to interpret a language” (1970, p. 147). The aim of this paper is to present and evaluate their argument for this claim.
We offer a defense of one aspect of Paul Horwich’s response to the Liar paradox—more specifically, of his move to preserve classical logic. Horwich’s response requires that the full intersubstitutivity of ‘ ‘A’ is true’ and A be abandoned. It is thus open to the objection, due to Hartry Field, that it undermines the generalization function of truth. We defend Horwich’s move by isolating the grade of intersubstitutivity required by the generalization function and by providing a new reading of the (...) biconditionals of the form “ ‘A’ is true iff A.”. (shrink)
The essays in this collection are written by students, colleagues, and friends of Nuel Belnap to honor him on his sixtieth birthday. Our original plan was to include pieces from fonner students only, but we have deviated from this ever so slightly for a variety of personal and practical reasons. Belnap's research accomplishments are numerous and well known: He has founded a whole branch of logic known as "relevance logic." He has made contributions of fundamental importance to the logic of (...) questions. His work in modal logic, fonnal pragmatics, and the theory of truth has been highly influential. And the list goes on. Belnap's accomplishments as a teacher are also distinguished and well known but, by virtue of the essential privacy of the teaching relationship, not so well understood. We would like to reflect a little on what makes him such an outstanding teacher. (shrink)
This paper contains a critical discussion of Paul Horwich’s use theory of meaning. Horwich attempts to dissolve the problem of representation through a combination of his theory of meaning and a deflationism about truth. I argue that the dissolution works only if deflationism makes strong and dubious claims about semantic concepts. Horwich offers a specific version of the use theory of meaning. I argue that this version rests on an unacceptable identification: an identification of principles that are fundamental to an (...) explanation of the acceptance of sentences with principles that are fundamental tomeaning. (shrink)
I respond to six objections, raised by Selim Berker and Karl Schafer, against the theory offered in my Empiricism and Experience: (1) that the theory needs a problematic notion of subjective character of experience; (2) that the transition from the hypothetical to the categorical fails because of a logical difficulty; (3) that the constraints imposed on admissible views are too weak; (4) that the theory does not deserve the label 'empiricism'; (5) that the motivations provided for the Reliability constraint are (...) insufficient; and (6) that convergence is bound to fail since epistemic entitlements are permissions. (shrink)
In recent years, a dramatic increase in the study of infrastructure has occurred in the social sciences and humanities, following upon foundational work in the physical sciences, architecture, planning, information science, and engineering. This article, authored by a multidisciplinary group of scholars, probes the generative potential of infrastructure at this historical juncture. Accounting for the conceptual and material capacities of infrastructure, the article argues for the importance of paradox in understanding infrastructure. Thematically the article is organized around three key points (...) that speak to the study of infrastructure: ruin, retrofit, and risk. The first paradox of infrastructure, ruin, suggests that even as infrastructure is generative, it degenerates. A second paradox is found in retrofit, an apparent ontological oxymoron that attempts to bridge temporality from the present to the future and yet ultimately reveals that infrastructural solidity, in material and symbolic terms, is more apparent than actual. Finally, a third paradox of infrastructure, risk, demonstrates that while a key purpose of infrastructure is to mitigate risk, it also involves new risks as it comes to fruition. The article concludes with a series of suggestions and provocations to view the study of infrastructure in more contingent and paradoxical forms. (shrink)
Writers of English can choose whether to mark a high level of sentience in a nonhuman animal by selecting the word who rather than which. An examination of texts relating to foxhunting on the world wide web showed that, in reference to the nonhuman animals involved in foxhunting, writers were most likely to use who in reference to foxes, and least likely to use it in reference to horses. Those who support foxhunting are more likely to recognize the sentience of (...) the fox than those who oppose foxhunting. This may be because those who enjoy foxhunting present the fox as an active creator of the hunt, and as a worthy opponent. (shrink)
The objective of this paper is to discuss some of the foundational issues centering around the question of integrating education in human values with professional engineering education: its necessity and justification. The paper looks at the efforts in ‘tuning’ the technical education system in India to the national goals in the various phases of curriculum development. The contribution of the engineering profession in national development and India’s self-sufficiency is crucially linked with the institutionalization of expertise and the role of morality (...) and responsibility. This linkage can be created through a proper understanding of the social role of the profession—what motivates the professionals and what makes professional life meaningful. Value education facilitates the process of moral maturity and the development of a ‘holistic’ mindset. This paper deals with the need to create such a mindset, the human values associated with it and gives examples of efforts to impart such education through ‘action-oriented’ programmes introduced in some institutes of engineering in India. (shrink)
And in general it is a sign of the man who knows and of the man who does not know that the former can teach, and therefore we think art more truly knowledge than experience is; for the artist can teach, and men of experience cannot. When pragmatism first gained favor in the early twentieth century, some British philosophers like Russell regarded it as evidencing their perception of America’s crude and enterprising spirit.1 The Imperial jab lay in this: that just (...) as business indicates the exchange of products and services to meet basic needs as well as others, for the pragmatist, knowledge is tied to social practices and instrumentality (that is, being able to effect changes in the world). The slight lies .. (shrink)